Weekend Recharge | Five for your weekend

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    Happy weekend, everyone!

    Long week got you down? It’s time to recharge!

    Everyone “recharges” their “battery” a little differently, but for me, nothing beats getting lost in a good book, or peacefully paddling down nearby waterways.

    Here are a few other ways to “recharge” this weekend:

    1. Unplug – Put the phone down, walk away from the computer (after you’re done reading this, of course!)
    2. Meditate – This one has never worked for me, personally, but others swear by it as a means to relax. Can’t hurt to try, right?
    3.  Walk/Exercise – Whether you prefer walking, running or maybe something else entirely, do what gives you the biggest sense of relief and accomplishment – you did just get your workout in for the day, after all!
    4.  Go! –  COVID-19 has complicated this one a bit, but go explore! Maybe a day trip is what you crave or just meandering through a store by yourself, at any rate, embrace whatever helps you process your thoughts and feelings best.

    As always, the top five stories from this week’s news are below to help you stay current.

    Cheers to a leisurely weekend,

    Cassie Miller | Associate Editor

    1. Former Gov./DHS boss Ridge: ‘It’d be a cold day in hell’ before he’d let ‘uninvited’ federal agents into Pa.

    The nation’s first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security had sharp words for his former agency Tuesday, condemning the Trump administration’s decision to send federal officers into the streets of Portland, Ore. to quell protests, saying it was “counterproductive,” and that it was not the agency’s mission to act as domestic law enforcement.

    “The department was established to protect America from the ever-present threat of global terrorism. It was not established to be the president’s personal militia,” ex-Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said during an interview with Sirius XM host Michael Smerconish.

    2. Wolf says he opposes open records bill, despite unanimous support

    Despite winning the support of all 253 members of the General Assembly, Gov. Tom Wolf said Wednesday he would not sign a bill requiring the state to process open records requests during a state of emergency.

    During a press conference Wednesday, Wolf said the bill “had some flaws,” but did not elaborate on what they were.

    “I am for transparency and I will stack my record of transparency against the members of the General Assembly any day of the week,” Wolf said.

    The bill, which would prevent any governor from suspending or delaying open records requests indefinitely due to a state of emergency, passed the state Senate unanimously Wednesday.

    3. Health Secretary Levine explains why Pa. ordered restaurants to limit capacity, but still won’t show the data to back it up

    Pennsylvania’s top health official said Thursday that data collected by state contract tracers, and guidance issued by the White House, influenced Gov. Tom Wolf’s recent decision to limit business at bars, restaurants and nightclubs as Pennsylvania tries to curb a spike in COVID-19 cases.

    But state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine has so far declined to make public the state data that guided the new mitigation effort, even though media outlets and restaurant industry leaders have asked to see it.

    “Individuals in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are congregating in groups, particularly in restaurants, bars, nightclubs,” Levine said Thursday. “There is granular data about that, although we’re not going to release [it.]”

    Levine’s briefing at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency’s headquarters was her first since Wolf issued an executive order last week shuttering many bars and nightclubs, and ordering restaurants to reduce indoor dining capacity.

    4. Some Pa. workers can get a temporary $3 an hour raise under new state grant

    Some Pennsylvania frontline workers could see up to $1,200 extra in their pockets this fall due to a new state program that uses federal stimulus dollars.

    The funds, approved by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled General Assembly, can add up to $3 an hour to the wages of about 46,000 full- and part-time workers who currently make less than $20 an hour for ten weeks, from August until October.

    Eligible workers include nursing home attendants, grocery store cashiers, hospital security guards and bus drivers, among others.

    5. I’m a former teacher: Returning to in-person classes is risky and wrong | Lloyd E. Sheaffer

    If I were still an active public school teacher, my busy season would be starting at this time. I would be evaluating the first round of Honors English summer projects and, via their work, getting to know my soon-to-be-met in person students.

    I would re-read Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice, works that speak clearly to our day’s tribalism and prejudice.

    I would have out my worn-and-torn copy of John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley along side current newspapers and news magazines identifying ways the Nobel Prize winning author’s experiences on his driving trip around the United States could apply to my students’ present world.

    Were this happening this year, we would need to start with the occurrences with extreme, literally sickening (for Steinbeck) racism he observed in New Orleans compared to the Black Lives Matter movement of 2020.

    And that’s the week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. We’ll see you all back here on Monday.

    Cassie Miller
    A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.